New Lead Community Engagement Adviser appointed

First published on: 20th December 2021

Magali, the new Lead Community Engagement Adviser

We are delighted to announce that Magali van der Merwe has been appointed as the new Lead Community Engagement Adviser for the Diocese of Rochester.  

Magali has been a Licenced Lay Minister (LLM) since 2018 and is based at St Augustine’s Church, Slade Green.  She very much sees her LLM calling as seeking to be God’s eyes, hands and feet to share His love with others, in particular those on the margins of society and who are suffering from social injustice. 

She therefore brings with her much experience of community-based work.

This includes establishing a voucher scheme for the homeless with Churches Together, and coordinating the 'Friday Night Kitchen' project that provided warm meals to families in need. She has also project managed many community engagement projects in her current role in the public sector with the Place Directorate at the London Borough of Bexley.

Responding to her appointment Magali says:

"I am really looking forward to starting my new role as Lead Community Engagement Adviser for the Diocese as it will enable me to bring my passion about community engagement, alongside the project management skills that I have established over the years. I am looking forward to working with parishes and  to make a real difference in our diocese by addressing local and national issues that are already present, as well as upcoming ones." 

Supporting loving service in our communities is a key priority within our shared Called Together vision and so this is an important parish-facing role. In welcoming the appointment, Bishop Simon says:

"Welcome to Magali! I know how much she wants to transfer the knowledge gained from her secular experience to this new role, and to find a new avenue for the keen sense of justice God has given her.

"Social need continues to grow with the pandemic and much of what we face now will shape our neighbourhood calling for years to come. I know the parishes will soon be grateful for how she has personally responded to God’s call."

Magali will begin her new post at the end of January.

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